The Bowl Opens!
- By Ken Werther
- Photos Courtesy of LA Philharmonic
Hollywood Bowl trivia — who set the all-time attendance record for a single performance? How many paid admissions were there that night? And what was the date? No cheating — you have to know the answers without looking them up! Ah, our very own Hollywood Bowl — an entertainment destination known literally the world over. Its unparalleled history includes appearances by Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Judy Garland, Billie Holliday, Nat King Cole, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand, Marilyn Horne, Isaac Stern … the list goes on and on. Coming up on June 11th and 12th, the 38th Annual Playboy Jazz Festival takes up residence. Featuring an all-star lineup of illustrious jazz greats, this internationally acclaimed event is one of the premiere jazz festivals in the United States.
The 2016 opening night on June 18 will feature the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra (Thomas Wilkins conducting) along with Grammy Award-winning rock ‘n roll Hall of Famers Steely Dan. Group founders Walter Becker and Donald Fagen will treat the audience to their trend-setting jazz rock blend, rich with blazing solos, infectious tunes, irresistible harmonies, and sleek, subversive lyrics.
Throughout the summer and into the early fall, the Hollywood Bowl is the place to be. Great music, great food, great friends — and lots of special events! The much loved Sing-A-Long Sound of Music is set for Friday, June 24 at 6:30pm. The presentation of a Broadway musical (this year, A Chorus Line) is scheduled for three performances over the weekend of July 29. Independence Day weekend (Saturday 7/2, Sunday 7/3, and Monday, 7/4) brings the July 4th Fireworks Spectacular with special guests the legendary pop/rock group Chicago and the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West.
The LA Philharmonic will treat audiences to Classical Tuesdays and Thursdays under the stars with concerts featuring programs of Beethoven, Ravel, Stravinsky, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Handel, Copland, Marsalis, Korngold, Hermann, Schmitt, Berlioz, Debussy, Schoenberg, Wohl, Salonen, and many more. World renowned conductors scheduled to appear include LA’s own Gustavo Dudamel, Mirga Garžinytė-Tyla, Andrew Manze, Joana Carneiro, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Cristian Măcelaru, Ludovic Morlot, and my personal favorite, Bramwell Tovey. Of special note: on Tuesday 7/12, Dudamel will conduct Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with special guest Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang. Heralded as the “hottest artist on the classical music planet” by the New York Times and the “world’s ambassador of the keyboard” by the New Yorker, Lang Lang has played sold out recitals and concerts in every major city around the world.
On Thursday 7/14, the Los Angeles Master Chorale joins the LA Phil for a concert performance of the Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim classic West Side Story, conducted by Dudamel. The Bowl will also host evenings with beloved superstars like Diana Ross, Andrea Bocelli, Boy George with Culture Club, Sergio Mendes, Gladys Knight, Tower of Power, and more.
In the meanwhile, I bet thinking about all of these entertainment options is making you hungry. Well, have no fear! This summer, the Bowl will introduce signature dishes from its new culinary partners Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne (of celebrated local restaurants Lucques, a.o.c., Tavern, and The Larder). Along with two full service restaurants, you can find street food and snacks abound. Including tacos, hot dogs, pizza, burgers, rotisserie chicken, cupcakes, ice cream, coffee, and popcorn. Many patrons choose to bring their own food and picnic prior to performances. For many folks, a picnic dinner and a show at the Hollywood Bowl is a family tradition.
And… here are the trivia answers — French opera star Lily Pons set the attendance record for a single performance with 26,410 paid admissions on the evening of August 7, 1936. So … you knew that stuff, right? See you at the Bowl!
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